Last month, Joann and I attended our fifth Business of Design Conference in NYC. This is a semi annual conference we attend as members of the Best Practice Network were over 100 top designers from across the country come together to discuss the actual “business” of our industry.
Every year, our fearless leader, Mr. David Shepherd, contributes proceeds from the conference profits to the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation (SDF). The goal has always been to get to the $10,000 mark so that we could fund the training for a specific dog. Founded in 1996, the mission of the SDF is to strengthen disaster response in America by recruiting rescued dogs and partnering them with firefighters and other first responders to find people buried alive in the wreckage of disasters. They offer professionally trained canines and an ongoing training program at no cost to fire departments. Pretty amazing!
Well… drum roll please….. we made it!! At the end of our conference, Lani, a 7 year old German Shephard and her fire fighter handler, John Stewart from Sarasota Springs, NY made the long trip to meet us all.
What a sweet girl…
Of course there’s me on the floor, front and center, taking pictures of her. I was crying like a baby.
Maybe it’s because I’m a dog lover or because my biggest fear in life is suffocating, but the work of the SDF strikes a special cord with me. I mean, if you were buried alive and Aspen here came and found you, wouldn’t it be amazing?
Here’s Billy working hard on that fateful day 9/11 – (Photo: Andrea Booher, FEMA News Photo)
And Baxter in Haiti (Photo: UN)…
Abby, Manny, Dawson, Duke and Ranger ready for Hurricane Katrina deployment (Photo: Howard Orr)
These dogs risk their lives to save human lives (Photo: Sharon Hanzelka)
For years and years, my grandmother was an avid supporter of the Seeing Eye Foundation. I know how incredibly expensive it is to train these amazing dogs. Joann and I already support four charities, but we can’t help supporting one more!
The National Rescue Search Dog Foundation is a non profit organization. If you’d like to make a donation, click here:
All photos not the property of Kandrac & Kole Interior Designs have been authorized for republication in this blog post by the SDF.